Search queries coming to Best of 3 over the past month have been predictably dominated by two memes: Bill Henson, and the selection of Judy Millar and Francis Upritchard to represent New Zealand at the Venice Biennale.
For some inexplicable reason, 'mondegreen best-of-3' brought a bunch of visits. And someone's been shopping ... 'yvonne todd framing' came up a few times.
Seraphine Pick remains the most-searched-for artist, with an honourable mention to Michael Parekowhai.
My favourite search this month is "time to get to a curator", which I hazard is either a student seeking a career path, or an artist whose calls aren't being returned.
How do I know all this? Because I use Google Analytics on this blog. Through GA, I can delve into all kinds of tasty details about visitation to this blog ... including, for example, how many visits I get from various galleries and tertiary instititions around the country.
You can use these kinds of tools for good or evil. You can enter your organisations IP address/es into this page on Wikipedia & see what your staff have been editing on work computers ... or you could find relevant entries, go to the History tab, then set up an RSS feed to be alerted to changes on the entry (you'll find the RSS link on the left-hand side of the page).
You could snoop on your staff and potential hires' personal lives on Facebook and Bebo - or you could talk to your staff about using social networking sites as part of their work.
You could set up some Google Alerts, Google Blog search RSS feeds*, and Technorati alerts (do some searches on relevant phrases - e.g. 'christchurch art gallery' or 'auckland art gallery building', then click the orange 'Subscribe' icon. Note that not all versions of IE support this, so you're better off with Firefox - but then again, you always were.) Then you can listen in to what people are saying about you.
Or do some targeted Googling; try the command link:your_url_here to see where links to your sites pop up. Or go to Google Blog search and use the command inurl:search term.
All of this stuff - it's what I mean when I say 'web presence'. You're more than just your website these days (and that means individuals as well as organisations). You're (hopefully) spread all over the web, the subject of all kinds of conversations. Get out there and find out about them.
* Hey - has anyone noticed it's Marc Chagall day on Google?